Friday, December 4, 2015

Daily Science Fiction

So. A few years behind the times, I know, but a couple of months ago, I stumbled across Daily Science Fiction. Now, it's become something I really look forward to reading on the weekdays.

For those who aren't familiar with it, here are the important points that I hope will motivate you to check it out:
  1. It's free.
  2. It delivers a new short story to your inbox every weekday.
  3. It features stories from new and established writers alike, so it does wonders for exposing readers to authors they might not know.
  4. It's free.
Below are two of my recent favorites. Check them out--maybe you'll enjoy them, too!

"What Wags the World" by Sarah Pinsker
"In Autumn" by Theodora Goss

Sunday, November 1, 2015


I had thought about putting together a short story collection this year. Ended up not doing it, but for a good reason: one of the stories I really want to include, "Earbuds," got accepted into Allegory E-zine, which means the rights to it are tied up for a bit, heh.

Anyway, the fall/winter issue of Allegory came out today with "Earbuds" in it. I don't submit many stories, but I do like this one, and I hope you'll enjoy it if you read it (psst, it's free). Special thanks once again to Michael Penkas for reading it over and helping get it into shape.

Click here to read "Earbuds" on Allegory!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Current Comic Book Reading

I finished one six-issue music-based comic book miniseries only to have another one start. Yay and dammit, all at once, for a new limited 'Phonogram' series! ("Dammit" only because I like having money.)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Every Day I'm Tumblin'

That's not true at all.

However, I have been trying to use Tumblr more. I've started a blog there with the main goal of finding stories, poems, and similar bits of creative writing that I really like from other Tumblr users. I reblog 'em as I find 'em (which, again, is only every few days), because every good writer can use support and appreciation, no matter how small the show.

So come join me on my Tumblr, Reading Under the Night Light, if you're interested!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Thoughts on Being a Writer

Here's the thing:

I think that anyone can be a writer, but that not everyone who has ideas and can assemble coherent sentences is a writer.

Good creative writing involves choosing just the right word for the moment, along with paying attention to the ways words and sentences come together and the effects that, together, they create.

In short, writing is a craft. That means that it's hard work, and a good portion of the time, it'll make you want to set yourself on fire and jump into a pool of gasoline.

But if you're a writer, you won't want to spend your time any other way.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jerome Charyn's 'Bitter Bronx'

I've had pretty good luck in terms of quality when going to the library and checking out random books that I otherwise know nothing about from the new releases shelf.

An excerpt from one of my latest happy finds:

"Whatever music I have had risen from the bedlam of the Bronx, all the staccato sounds, the syncopation of sadness and loss."

Holy $@(%. That's just from the author's note.

Seriously, that's from Jerome Charyn, and if you enjoy language like that that pares down sentences until only the right words are left, I really recommend checking out his story collection Bitter Bronx. "The Cat Lady's Kiss" reads like a fairy tale perfectly transposed to New York and rolled around in grit.

I mean, damn.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Subway Book Review

A very nifty idea for a blog. Uli Beutter Cohen asks people on the subway to tell her about the books they're reading.

Check it out here: Subway Book Review

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Shut up and take my money!

I was going on about this delightful ad in the back of the May/June The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction to all of my co-workers earlier in the week, so I figured I should share it here as well.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Judy Blume

On June 17, Judy Blume is coming for a talk as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. I'm torn between going and enjoying myself or staying at home and not wishing that I had a battering ram to get through Wednesday evening traffic.

So until I decide, I have this lovely interview to tide me over:

Judy Blume on Writing, Twitter, and Vaginas

I wish I, too, could sit and talk with Judy Blume, about vaginas or otherwise.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Things I've Enjoyed Recently

It's always tough to figure out what to say when it comes to updating this site. Yep, I'm still working on writing. Nope, I haven't done as much with my stories as I want to. I feel confident of about maybe five percent of what I write. The rest of it requires me to go back, edit madly, start new stories, and hope to get better.

My Saturday nights are quite exciting. The stuff of legend, you can be sure.

Anyway, in addition to scribbling my own stuff, I also read and listen to the stuff that other people create. Here's some stuff I've enjoyed in recent weeks:

1) Trubbled Youth by Felipe Echevarria

Because it feels like an old-school zine, and because I love how expressive his figures are. This was one of my favorite finds of C2E2 2015.

2) "21 Steps to Enlightenment (Minus One)" by LaShawn M. Wanak, read for PodCastle by Khaalidah Muhammed-Ali

PodCastle often makes for excellent listening for a long work commute, and this story caught me right from the start with its premise. I wouldn't have guessed that the story developed the way it did, which was part of why I loved it so.

3) The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

The major plot points seemed familiar (Pregnancy! Death! A manic pixie dream girl!), but there were so many of the small notes that were just right, from the way that David's first attempts with his artistic gift don't meet with success to the conversations he has with Uncle Harry (actually, throw in all of the conversations about art--they felt painfully real). And Scott McCloud's artwork is solid and subtle, but I thought it made the most of the medium. And I cried at the end.

Hope you've been enjoying some good stuff on your end, whoever and wherever you are!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Little Free Library

Sometimes, at the end of a bleh week, you take a walk on a day like yesterday and see something like a Little Free Library on the lawn outside of someone's house. And it's wonderful.

For more information on the Little Free Library project, check out the official website! Seriously, don't you want a little home for books on your front lawn, too?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

While Browsing the Books

Why do I have a feeling that this section of the store might not be entirely accurately labeled?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Amazing Fantasy

Amazing Fantasy Books and Comics in Tinley Park​ was the first dedicated comic shop I ever visited, so I went out yesterday to see it one more time before the big move to its new location. Only when I got home and looked at this photo did I notice the little yellow plush sitting inside the security mirror up right. Somehow, its presence there seems entirely fitting.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cover Girl

This is one time I'm glad that I judge books by their covers, darn it.
I know nothing else about this book, but I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Last Unicorn

It was my favorite movie when I was a kid. When I got older, it became one of my favorite books.

Little '80s Me is rather fascinated by this recent synth-tastic cover of the movie's theme song. She's also still ready to cry every time the song gets to the "I'm alive!" part.

Go ahead. Play the video above. BE VULNERABLE WITH ME.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Snark Notes

My supervisor at work runs an entertaining and informative book review blog called Snark Notes. Today the blog featured an excerpt from a conversation we had about the state of YA literature:

Sums it up pretty well, I'd say.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Decent Start

I suppose that this is a decent way to start the new year. Not too long ago, I got word that one of my stories was accepted for publication in the digital magazine Beyond Science Fiction. Yesterday, I got word that the issue containing my story has been published. Yep, those all were good words to read.

If you'd like to read a few words yourself, you can check out "Super" along with several other people's works in the January 2015 issue of Beyond Science Fiction. It's a Kindle-only joint, so e-readers, deploy!

For a few people I know, the title of this song most aptly summarized their feelings toward 2014:

If that includes you, then I hope that you're on your way to a 2015 in which you're cursing more out of a feeling of exuberance than a feeling of frustration, because we all deserve at least that kind of joy.

So happy effing New Year, eh?